14 Essentials for good dementia care in General Practice

Important considerations when providing care

Life can change considerably for people with dementia and their families. Care needs may vary considerably over the course of dementia and support will be needed from a good general practice.

The ‘14 essentials’ is a step-by-step guide that provides practical points for professionals in general practice (e.g. the doctor, practice nurse) to guide management.

In brief, the steps include taking any concerns about cognitive decline seriously, conducting the relevant assessments, making a diagnosis, referring patients from their practice to a specialist (if necessary), and creating and reviewing a care plan. Throughout this process, the family should be kept informed and referred to further support networks.

The step-by-step guide is for professionals in general practice caring for people living with dementia

The one-page desktop summary sheet will provide a useful prompt for GPs, to help them focus on what is important when providing care for patients with dementia. It will give GPs the confidence to know that they are doing the right thing and will reduce time spent looking through the literature for guidance.

The 14 Essentials resources emanate from work by Prof Charles Bridges-Webb in updating the 2003 Guidelines for the Care of Patients with Dementia in General Practice. The DCRCs gratefully acknowledge funding from the NSW Ministry of Health to develop the online resource

Authors: Prof. Henry Brodaty AO


Many GPs report a lack of time and confidence in diagnosing dementia. Indeed, the diagnosis is often missed in primary care with about 50% of patients with dementia remaining undiagnosed. The 14 essentials for good dementia care in general practice’ was written by Professor Henry Brodaty and colleagues in response to this.